Round 13 – Preview: No News like No News

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Greetings all,


Another stab in the dark edition with a Thursday Night match.  But first, making up for an oversight last week and recognising the career so far of “Boris” Enright, a super competitive no fuss player loaded with skill and poise, well played!

Since then though the dearth of games has the media hunting for stories that simply “aren’t”.  Let’s kick off with St Jimmy – as most would be aware it doesn’t take much for me to take a sledgehammer to the Bombers – but the rubbish going on about James Hird’s trip to Paris is a complete non-story.  Maybe the Bombers are not travelling that well, but I am sure this trip would have been planned not long after the fixture was released last October.  So he might have missed watching an opposition game, there are more than enough assistant coaches to cover every game.  I reckon a few of his players may have made use of their passports during their time off also.  Then raking up dribble from Paul Little who was prepared to cut him loose over 12 months ago – another non-story.

The next filler was that Ken Hinkley exposed his game plan on radio before the Carlton match and that John Barker used that to plan the Port Adelaide demise.  Now granted the Blues brains trust has been a bit of a misnomer at times, but I suspect that even they would have been aware of Port’s need to move the ball quickly and take more risks after the pedestrian effort against the Cats.  If Johnny the Saviour did not have that already covered – then I guess he won’t be the saviour!

Hmmmm Tuesday comes around and with only six games and not much happening, who do we dredge up?  Steven Baker.  Really?  Talking about the Fremantle grand final team is a touch premature and asking another serial pest whether Crowley should play, really?  Yes Get Stuffed Lyon brought Stevie back in for those 2010 Grand Finals – do we recall the results.  Not sure an 8 possession game would quite get it done!

The one story with some relevance was the discussion on the Bryce Gibbs suspension.  His tackle may have been text book for some but “duty of care” has been the mantra for a number of years now, the Blues were right not to challenge.  We saw a spate of these tackles punished a couple of years ago but none recently till Saturday, has there really been no sling tackles for that long?  A look to round two saw Jack Viney take Gary Ablett and hurl him to the floor – the difference no head injury.  So the penalty appears to be based on the injury rather than the action – what would have happened to Gibbs if Port had of put Robbie Gray back out there?  I suspect players will clean up their tackles for a while, while there are no penalties they will gradually relax on their technique until someone else is injured in the same manner.  This cycle will continue unless the adjudicators intervene and start penalising on the action and potential outcome rather than just the outcome.


The Coaches Pet ($1.27) vs Missing their Grundies ($4.50)

Nat Fyfe has almost enough coaches votes to lock away their gong for the season, a good game against the Pies should just about do it!  This is the test the Pies have been waiting for and see if they really do measure up to their ladder position.  They are good travellers (even if they don’t have to often) but their last three sojourns to the far west have not been successful.  Witts was terrific against GWS even before Mummy went off, but having to tackle Herman alone will be daunting.  The Dockers backline is not at full strength and Cloke is finding some touch which is a plus for the Pies.  He has been getting plenty of supply from the likes of Pendlebury, Swan and co – there is more to the Pie midfield than just those two in particular the work rate of Adams.  But just the sheer numbers of the Freo mids in Fyfe, Mundy, Barlow, Neale, …. should get them enough forward thrusts to kick a winning score.


Keeping their Grundies ($1.30) vs Rance-id ($4.40)  N.B. Ladbrokes $2 Favourites deal – Sydney are $2 to beat Richmond. CLICK HERE.

Sydney keep locking them away signing Reg Grundy for another 3 years, just turned 29 – they do like longevity in the Harbour City!  Meanwhile the Tigers got their man keeping Alex Rance for another four years – not the best as many rate him, but certainly is a cornerstone of the Tiger defence.  That defence will be up to their armpits in it this weekend with the likes of Franklin, Tippett, Reid, Parker, Jetta and more invading the SCG 45m arc.  Richmond will want to bounce back after the loss to the Eagles, they may be a better variety than the 2014 Tiger with Martin being in the contest for longer, this is the type of game they need to make a stand in.  But Sydney look too well organised and are winding up for their shot at the title.  Sydney to win.


Power Rangers ($1.12) vs Paris ($8.20)

Never mind Hirdy’s Parisian jaunt, what about those Hawthorn outfits we had to endure last week?  In fact they probably belong more on the catwalks of Paris than any Essendon coach.  But the line in the sand is set again, the Bombers are under fire and have been dealt a couple of nasty blows with injuries.  Will they line up without a ruckman against Hawthorn?  I doubt it, it is a great opportunity for whoever is thrust into the role to stake their claim on it with TBC’s career TBC* in 2016!  The unsociable Hawks were probably just getting ready last week with the sly shots to Cameron and Betts, they are always on alert against the Bombers.  The Hawks will relish being back at the G and should be too good for the Bombers.


An aside – listened to a Cyril vs Eddie discussion prior to last week’s game.  Love Eddie and the entertainment he provides, but just does not perform against the best opposition. Not even in the same suburb as Cyril Rioli!  But Jamie Elliot might be around the corner with Mark Le Cras!


Farewell Moose ($4.00) vs Adelaide ($1.30)

The Crows travel north to the Gabba which can be a daunting task, but the Lions are so horribly undermanned it is hard to see how they can be competitive.  To make matters worse Matt “Moose” Maguire someone who can play tall gets forced into retirement.  Before breaking his leg he was one of league’s premier defenders, but just could not get back to the same level afterwards.  A great servant to the both the Saints and Lions.  Win, lose or draw Brisbane really need to improve their contested possession count.  The Crows should be able to get back on track and I suspect Eddie will appreciate the drop in pressure and bag a few.


Demon Slayers ($2.80) vs Jungle Hunters ($1.52)

In a clash of the ripped-off co-tenants the Saints and Dogs go at it Saturday Night in the Loungeroom.  Both are coming off good victories, St Kilda a rousing last minute thriller over Melbourne and Footscray making a fine mess of the Lions.  Tom Boyd showed something last week, he can watch a master at the other end this week.  The Saints are certainly capable but selecting the Bulldogs who have that edge in maturity.


Barking Mad ($1.60) vs Ablett ($2.50)

A bit too much excitement for the Blues after a couple of good showings.  To keep things in perspective the skill level is still poor and the final minutes last week were full of terror, fortunately Port were more terrified.  (They might cop it next week!)  Nevertheless Blue fans can genuinely be excited about the prospects of Patrick Cripps, plus the likes of Nick Graham and Dylan Buckley who have quickened the team up.  For all the positive, they take on the Suns who are likely to have the biggest positive with Gary Ablett making his return.  They will also get a couple of other handy ones back in May and Bennell.  Carlton should have enough to get over the Suns, but the weight of expectation lies heavy with this group and the $2.50 for Gold Coast is fair value.


Friar Time

After a tight contest last week Prahran were too well-organised in the last term for the Friars.  This week we head to the expanses of Como Park to take on Old Geelong.  The Under 19s got back on the winners’ list with a solid win over St Bedes/Mentone, this week they face ladder leaders Parkdale at Friar Park.


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal


* Tom Bellchambers – To Be Continued


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  1. Love your work SC.

    Totally with you about the Hird non-story. He could figure out a way to get the trains to run on time and cancellation free and the story would be about how long it took him to sort it out.

    Not for nothing: I was in Bali during the 2012 mid-season break. Brett Ratten – then Carlton coach (and family) – were staying in the same Villa resort as the good lady wife and I. Of course, we know now how a mid-year overseas trip worked out for Ratts.

    Just sayin’…

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